Did your check engine light recently turn on, and you're worried about what it could be? This dashboard light could indicate one of many problems that need to be addressed as soon as possible. Here are a few common reasons why your check engine light is on.
Loose Gas Cap
You may not be aware that your car is capable of knowing that your gas cap is on or not, which it can tell by air getting into the gas tank. That's why this simple problem should be one of the first things that you check. The gas tank cap may not have been secured tight enough last time you put gasoline in your vehicle, or the seal of the gas cap is broken and allowing air to get in. If it's the latter, you can fix the problem by getting a new gas cap.
Bad O2 Sensor
The purpose of the O2 sensor is to measure how much oxygen is in the gas coming out of your vehicle's exhaust system. If this sensor is not working, it can cause the service engine soon light to go off due to giving bad readings. The vehicle may be perfectly fine, but the O2 sensor is just not working properly. In most situations, this sensor can be cleaned, but it may also require replacing it with a brand new sensor.
Air Intake System Issues
There are many things that can be wrong with the air intake system with too much air being in the system being what triggers the light to turn on. Even having a small hole in an air hose can cause the check engine light to turn on. You'll need to have the air intake system inspected to find any potential places where the air is leaking.
Bad Mass Airflow Sensor
The purpose of the mass airflow sensor is to regulate how much air goes into the air intake system. If the sensor has gone bad, it will also cause inaccurate readings that will turn the service engine soon light on. This problem can be fixed by replacing or cleaning the sensor.
Dirty Catalytic Converter
Your catalytic converter has an important job of converting toxins produced by your vehicle into water vapor. However, a clogged or dirty catalytic converter can cause the O2 sensor to give readings that something is wrong with your vehicle that needs to be inspected. You can either clean or replace a catalytic converter with replacement being the more common option due to it being easier to do than clean the part.
For more information, contact an auto shop for check engine light repair.